European countries tighten borders to stem flow of refugees
HUNGARY - Austria is rushing troops Monday night to its borders, one of several European nations imposing an emergency lockdown. Thousands of families are pouring into Europe, fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and North Africa.
On Monday, the crisis entered a new stage as several nations tightened their borders to stem the flow of refugees.
First, a wall of Hungarian police blocked one of the last gaps in the 100-mile long fence. Then, troops rolled in a train carriage bristling with razor wire to seal the border shut. This, after a record 5,000 migrants crossed into the country before noon Monday.
Some migrants were minutes too late.
For those who made it, the Hungarian government put them on trains to Austria -- the next stop in their quest to get to Germany.
That's where we found Mohammed, from Hama, Syria.
"Most of us they think it was a trick. I won't believe anything until I sit with my cousins in Germany," Mohammed said with a laugh.
Germany is the favored destination for most -- with its strong economy and generous benefits. The country now says it expects to take a million migrants, another 200,000 more than forecast.
But on Sunday, Germany introduced border controls -- a sign that even Germany may be struggling to control the massive wave of migrants heading its way.
Austria quickly followed suit, sending police to its border, as did Slovakia and the Netherlands.
The sheer number of migrants has forced Europe to suspend one of its founding principles: border-free travel between countries.
Among the new laws that go into effect in Hungary Monday night, anybody caught crossing the border illegally will face a possible five-year prison sentence. Europe's interior ministers Monday came to no decision about where to settle the migrants that just keep coming.
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